Hannah writing Hi mini-women!  Hannah, here. Can you believe this is almost our last post in the series?  I have loved reading and writing these – and I think this one is my favorite. It’s a good verse to pick apart, in my opinion.

 

“Whatever is excellent and praiseworthy, think on those things.”

What comes to mind when you think of excellence or something that ought to be praised?Asher's rock star drawing  A 102% on a math test?  A home run with the bases loaded?  The first prize in a singing contest?

We would say congratulations to all of those people, and we’d be right to do so!  And yet, as always, Paul is calling us to think deeper.

See, this verse (this whole verse, not just the part we’re talking about today) is all about shifting focus.girl thinking  About stopping yourself from thinking of your worries and your fears and your insecurities and re-focusing to think on what is pure, lovely, and so on.

When you’ve been having a rough time in math, or at your baseball or choir practice, sometimes it can be hard to think about succeeding (being excellent or praiseworthy) in those things! hit over the head

“I don’t even want to think about a home run, I just want to hit the ball and be able to get to first base without being tagged out EVERY single game.” Or “That other girl has had private voice lessons since she was three, why should I even bother trying out for the solo?”

I know you girls have probably had these thoughts before, and so have I!  When we only value ourselves on what we can do, on our excellent and praiseworthy talents, we can feel like we fall short.  All. The. Time.

good-newsWe have to re-teach ourselves to define excellence and praiseworthiness in a different way.

Excellence is being the best person you can be.  Pushing yourself to your OWN limits, not the limits that someone else said you should meet.

This means that you are excellent when doing that thing that is perfect for you.  You may not ever slug a home run over the fence, but it could turn out that you’re amazing at soccer.  Or vice versa.volleyball  Being excellent means finding that talent, that niche, that hobby that you EXCEL in like crazy.  And not trying to fit yourself in someone else’s Excellent Box.

Praiseworthy is being someone who people speak highly of, and with great respect.

This is a whole lot more important than your talents.  This is about focusing on your inner self and making sure you’re a person who is worthy of praise- not because of what you can do, but because of who you are.

It really matters a lot more to God that you sit next the girl whose voice cracked in her audition and give her a hug, Asher girlsthan you going on stage and wowing everyone with your amazing voice.  Don’t get me wrong – talent is great and should be admired!  It just shouldn’t be what we focus on.

(P.S.  Besides, who likes a talented person who acts like a total snob?  You’ll be remembered for years for your kindness to others, far longer than people Asher phto excellentt

photo by Asher

remembering you being a showstopper in the school play.  Admit it girls – it’s true!)

It’s a great thing to be excellent and praiseworthy.  Let’s just make sure it’s for the BEST reasons, and focus on it that way.

In your Talking to God journals this week, have a chat with God about how you’d like to be remembered.  Asher journal

For what talent, for what nice thing you did for someone, for what characteristic?  Discuss with Him what is the most important, excellent, praiseworthy thing you ought to work towards.

And in your comments, tell me one thing about yourself that you would call excellent or praiseworthy.  Don’t worry girls, this isn’t bragging!  bryn-christopherYou know this blog is Honesty Central; we’ve all talked about our flaws plenty of times.  Now I want you to think about the part of you and your personality that you feel really happy about.

Asher's header

In a world that’s so focused on results – how many ‘A’s you got in your report card, what prize you got in the competition, how many people are coming to your party – it’s hard to think of yourself as excellent or praiseworthy when you fail. So next time things don’t turn out the way you hoped, try to think of one excellent and praiseworthy thing you did in the process. Even though you didn’t get a good grade on your English group project, you can still celebrate how you were kind to your teammates while you worked on it.

This world may be concerned about what’s on the outside, but achievements, popularity and possessions only have earthly value for a short time. God cares about your heart, and in the end that will be what matters the most. Asher's portrait

 I love you girls!  You’re totally excellent.

Hannah

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Looking Ahead: Anybody Stressing Out?

confused girl Hello, Amazing Tribelet of Mini-Women. Isn’t it just so good to be back together again? We’re hearing from some of you who have been away from us — just like I was. It’s kind of like going back to school after a long summer and realizing how much you missed your friends.

In the next couple of weeks we will:

(1) Finish up our Whatever series with one more post from HANNAH and one from me (NANCY)Hannah doing research

(2) Put together a Mini-Makers Post. If you turned in a poem, song, picture, photo or 100 words of a story that hasn’t been posted yet, I’ll include those.Whatever post Veronica If you want to add something, just email it me by October 27 — one week from today. If you have NO idea what we’re talking about because you’re new, just click here .

(3) Get ready for our next series.

Number 3 is what I’m about today. Not long ago, one of you emailed me and asked if we could do some posts on stress. You know, the things you’re afraid of that make you lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling and thinking up the worst possible things that could happen if you fail math or make your BFF mad or get laughed at by that group of girls who laugh at everybody but each other. hit over the head

Grown-ups may roll their eyes (don’t you hate it when they do that?) and say things like, “You think you have stress? You have no idea what that is. Just be a kid!” Have they completely forgotten what it was like to BE a kid? Really?

We haven’t, and we want to help. SO — in the next few days — by the end of the day Monday, October 23 — will you post a comment in which you tell us what: 

      * stresses you out 

     *  makes you anxious OIlivia April

     *  moves you to bite your nails and snap at your

        siblings.

From your list we’ll be able to come up with post topics to help you handle that Mini-Women stress and hopefully even make some of it go away.

And get ready from some cool new things that are going to happen here on Tween You and Me in November. Be sure to be here — and bring your fellow Mini-Women. There is always room in the stress-free Tribelet!

Blessings, Nancy Rue  Nancy

 

 

Asher On WhatEVer Is Admirable.

Hello, Amazing Mini-Women! Asher has been sharing her artwork and special comments with us for a while now, and today she’s making her debut with her first whole blog post. Let’s hear it for our own ASHER!

 

Asher's portrait Hey there, Tribelet! It’s Asher here, with my first full blog post. The topic? Whatever is admirable.

Have you ever met that girl that seems to have it all – you know, the one with a bevy of popular friends, who seems to effortlessly make straight A’s and look perfect when she gets out of bed each morning…. the list goes on. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wish I could be like that, and then feel inferior with my not-so-perfect life.

Asher mirror

The truth is, it isn’t fair to compare ourselves to others when we know our own messes inside out, but only see the outside of theirs. Admiring someone doesn’t mean trying to measure up to or compete with them. It’s simply appreciating and being encouraged by the person they are.

So then, what makes an admirable person?

  • Someone who is real. The world often puts pressure on us to act like we have it all together, but what’s truly admirable is someone who has the courage to be honest about their flaws and difficulties.
  • Someone who brings the best in you. Maybe it’s your best friend, who you can always be yourself with, or your cousin who always encourages you to keep writing (or doing whatever activity you enjoy!)  Asher coffee
  • Someone who strives to be like Jesus – think fruits of the spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

If you know admirable people in your life, try to get to know them better and learn from them if you can! You might also want to tell them what you admire about them and why to make their day.

One admirable person we all know is Jesus: our ultimate example. After all, he’s been through what we have – and did it perfectly. Here are a few ways you can become more like Him:

  • Learn about Him. Just like you’d spend time getting to know someone you admire, you can find out more about Jesus’ admirable qualities through reading the Bible.

If you struggle with deciding where or how to start reading your Bible, you’re not alone! One thing I’ve found helpful is reading verses about a particular topic. For example, if you decided to learn more about Jesus’ patience since your little brother has been getting on your nerves lately, you could look up Bible passages or verses about patience online, or use the index at the back of your Bible.

 

asher bible

Here’s what an index might look like in your Bible. Asher Bible index

 

If it helps, you could also make a list of admirable qualities you notice in your Talking-To-God Journal!

  • Pray and write about what you’re learning in your Talking-To-God Journal.
  • Surround yourself with pure things and others who also strive to be like Jesus. (If you’d like to learn more about this, you can read Nancy’s ‘Whatever Is Pure’ post!)
  • Take action. We’ve been exploring Philippians 4:8 in this series, but the verse after it is also worth looking at:

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

So, if you’ve been reading about how Jesus is kind, try to find something kind you can do in your life – like including the new girl at school, or volunteering at your local homeless soup kitchen. Asher girls

 

Becoming more like Jesus definitely doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t be discouraged if you end up lashing out at your brother or ignoring the new girl because you don’t want to be made fun of. After all, Jesus spent thirty years growing before he began his ministry – so be patient and keep learning and growing and trying!

In your Talking-To-God Journal this week, you might want to write about ways you’d like to become more like Jesus – maybe a specific quality, like faithfulness. Secondly, ask God to help you put that into action so you can become more like Him each day!Asher journal

And in your comments, we’d love for you to share: Who’s someone you find admirable, and what’s a quality you admire in them? How could you try to live out that quality this week? Looking forward to hearing from you all!

-Asher

P.S. Also tell ASHER how you liked her post. Me? I appreciate the way she gives us practical steps to take. We can DO this! Nancy

Back to the Plan!

Gibbs in my lap

Hello, Tribelet of awesome Mini-Women! Tomorrow we get back to our regular schedule, with a post from our own ASHER. You’re going to love it.

Meanwhile, I wanted to introduce you to the newest member of the Rue clan. His name is Gibbs, and he loves to sit in my lap when I write — which means he’ll be a part of Tween You and Me from now on. If he could really be with you, he would lick your face. And pull on your shoelaces. We only love it when puppies do that, right? Anybody else … not so much!

See you tomorrow —

Blessings,  Nancy Rue

Whatever Is Lovely … and That Includes YOU

July 6 2017 post

Mini-women — Hannah here. When was the last time you were called “lovely?”  Maybe by a grandma or a teacher or your mom?  I’m not sure if anyone’s ever used the actual word “lovely” with me (besides Miss Nancy!), but I was called “charming” once and I’ve held on to that for years because it sounded like a princess!

Anyway, if someone calls you lovely, it doesn’t always mean beautiful. In fact, it can mean you’re kind.

“She’s a lovely girl.”

Asher girls

“Have a lovely day!”

I would imagine Paul, when he wrote our Philippians 4:8 verse, meant both definitions.  Let’s talk about both – beautiful AND kind.

Talking about Beautiful

Let’s be honest, mini-women.  Show of hands for who thinks Paul was saying, “Think about how beautiful you are!  Stare in a mirror and see how pretty you are!”  I’m going to assume none of you raised your hands.  We know Paul (and Jesus and the Bible) too well.comparing bodies

If he wants us to think about beautiful things, I would imagine he means majestic mountains, lush green valleys, bubbling streams and golden sunrises.  If you’re feeling down and discouraged, take a break from obsessively studying every pore on your nose (I’m guilty!) and think about how God painted this perfect and elaborate world for us to enjoy and appreciate.bra And if God can make all of nature so perfectly, I don’t think He messed up making you and me.  Can we agree not to be so hard on our physical appearance, and not let it become an obsession?  When we chase after physical beauty, we end up exhausted and sad and feeling not so lovely at all.

Now, if you start looking through the Bible and checking out some of the main characters who were in times of great sadness or danger or confusion – where did God meet them?  Often, God drew them to the wilderness.  Even Jesus went off in nature alone to pray and think.Kate tree photo 2.JPG

So when your head is full of ugliness, like that girl at school making fun of your hairstyle, or everyone laughing when you tripped on your feet walking into church – stop.  boys laughingStop thinking and dwelling on those ugly things.  Paul says pull yourself away and think on what is lovely.  Go on a walk outside and take deep breaths and realize that God makes ALL things lovely, and you are one of them!

Talking about Kind

Paul could also be focusing on the “kind” side of the word lovely.  When you’re feeling low, think of all the acts of kindness that you’ve ever seen.  Noble Asher It’s hard to stay mad about losing the softball game when you think back to that time you saw someone give a homeless man a sandwich, or someone help a lost puppy find his way home.

But more than that, I think Paul is calling us to our own action, for us to be the ones to do acts of kindness.  Don’t think about bad things he says, about that girl teasing you about your ponytail.  Veronica May Think instead about the girl who said you write essays so well and she’d love you to help her after school with her own writing.  That would be a great act of kindness, a chance for you to be lovely.

I know that seems like a little thing, mini-women.  You might be thinking, “So this girl teases me about my hair, and I’m just supposed to ignore it and think about something else?”

Well, Paul says yes.  He knows that our brains are a LOT stronger than we give them credit for. brain love He knows we can turn our minds to other things if we really want to.  He knows we will be much lovelier people if we practice thinking about lovely things.

In your Talking to God journals this week, ask God this –“Have I been focusing too much on something ugly, God?  Is there a grudge in my heart that is dragging me down and taking up all my time being miserable when I could be thinking about lovely things instead?” ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

 And in the comments, tell us – what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘lovely’?  How can you focus on that one thing this week? Share!

You’re lovely, girls!  And I mean in BOTH ways!

 Blessings,

HannahHannah writing

Busy Mini-Women

Ashers health drawing

Goooood morning, Tribelet of amazing Mini-Women! I am super-charged today because SO many of you have checked in to say, “I’m here! Let’s get started!”

So far we’ve heard comments from:

OLIVIA

HALLE BELL

AMARISE

LARRYN

JENNA

CORINNE

 ASHER

And 37 (count them!) people have stopped in for a visit.

Whatever post Veronica

We would LOVE to know who else is IN for a restart of Tween You and Me AND what has kept you busy this summer.

At this point you’ve reported in with everything from going to camp to breeding goats. Are we an interesting group or what? All unique selves. Yes.

The other thing that’s already happening as you come back together: you’re supporting each other with good thoughts and prayers. Don’t you think that’s because God is connecting us? Noble Asher

You might want to write about that in your Talking To God Journal today. You could ask God to help you get closer to someone — or tell God that you’re seeing how God’s bringing you into a better relationship with somebody. All the things that bring people together? That’s God. ashers-girl-writing-in-journal

If you want to comment on this post:

(1) and you haven’t told us you’re IN, let us know you’re ready  to re-start Tween You and Me.

(2) or you HAVE told us you’re in (and even if you haven’t), share who you want to be more connected to (and that could even be yourself)

See you Wednesday for our next REAL post!

Blessings,

Nancy Rue   Nancy

Do You Want to Start Again?

recovery

Hello, my Tribelet of precious Mini-women. Have you noticed that sometimes life happens? And sometimes a LOT of life happens? All at the same time?

That’s the way the summer has been for me. And yet not a day of it has gone by that I haven’t thought of all of you and our community here. I have MISSED you. crying

So what do you say we press the re-set button?

     * We can pick up where we left off with our “Whatever!” series this coming Wednesday, October 11 whatever is true

 * I will put together your wonderful artwork and writing in a Mini-Makers post Friday, October 13 Asher Whatever IS Right

* We’ll make some changes so that you will ALWAYS have a post every week.

If  that sounds good to you — if you’re ready to get back together and jump start the Tribelet again — will you tell us that in a comment?text-balloon

And of course if you want to write in your Talking To God Journal, talk to God about the LIFE that’s happening right now — the things that might be confusing you or making things crazy or keeping you from doing the things you really want to do. rara's cover Just getting it out there with God is the first step in untangling it all. And if you want to share in a comment, you know this is a safe place.

  We’re so glad to be back !!! 

Blessings, 

Nancy  Nancy

 

 

Hannah hannah

 

 

 

 and Asher  Asher's portrait